Welcome to the third annual Contract Pharma salary survey. We've polled 100 of our readers to determine their attitudes toward their jobs, their levels of education, and, of course, their salaries.
Our respondents, 72% of whom were male, break down into the following job function categories: R&D (20%), Corporate Management (17%), Quality Assurance/Quality Control (11%), Business Development (10%), Regulatory Affairs (8%), Production/Manufacturing/Packaging (7%), Project Manager (6%), Purchasing (5%), Contract Manager (5%), Lab Clinical Research (4%), Engineering (4%) and Other (2%).
The top earners were in Purchasing, earning a mean base salary of $148,500, up 91% from last year's $77,595 (a statistical skew, in all likelihood). Corporate Management's base salary dipped 15% to $111,607, after reaching $131,100 in 2000. Business development salaries rose 40% to $109,667, followed by Regulatory Affairs at $107,071 (down 21%), Project Manager at $106,549 (up 94%, another statistical quirk), Engineering, up 58% to $105,667, Clinical Research at $97,883 (up 27%), Production/Manufacturing/Packaging at $90,883 (down 2%), R&D at $89,429 (up 8%), QA/QC at $72,338 (down 7%) and Contact Manager at $66,000 (down 20%). "Others" earned $192,500 in 2001, up 83% from $105,171 in 2000.
Running Out of Options?
Respondents who received stock option packages had an average of $21,150 in options in 2001, a massive drop from $71,745 in 2000.
Respondents with Associate's degrees (4%), earned an average total package of $40,367, with a base salary of $35,167. Those with a Bachelors degrees (31%) earned $122,586 in total compensation, and $85,615 in base salary. Master's degree holders (31% of respondents) earned an average of $143,495, with a base salary of $106,637. Doctorates (35%) were paid an average of $209,470, with a base of $125,413. This means, for the first time in this survey's history, Doctorates actually out-earned the Master's degree. Could it be a trend away from the MBA?
As was the case in 2000, there were twice as many respondents with Masters degrees to those with Doctorates in the area of Corporate Management, but many other Master's degree holders were in lower-paying positions than was the case last year.
As far as education goes, 50% of respondents said it was Very Unlikely that they'd pursue an additional degree. Seventeen percent felt it was Unlikely that they'd go back to school, while 8% were Neutral, 5% said it was Likely and 13% felt it was Very Likely that they'd get further education.
On average base salary, women drew 24% less than men did. Men took in a mean base salary of $109,987 (up 18%), compared to $83,533 for women (up 8%).
Total compensation was 35% higher for men than women, with men taking in $168,499, and women drawing $109,000 in 2000.
Men reported several more years of experience in the industry (20.9) than women (15.6). On average, women in the industry are younger (43.5) than men (47.1). In addition, men have been with their current job for an average of 7.19 years, compared to 5.33 years for women. This is up from last year's "Current Job Tenure," in which men were at the same job for 5.26 years, women for 4.82.
Women were most represented in the R&D and QA/QC fields, while men were highly represented in R&D and Corporate Management, which, as we noted, tends to pay better than other categories.
Women in R&D earned an average of $79,000, while men in that field earned an average of $92,638. Also, men in QA/QC took in an average of $78,500, while women in QA/QC earned $60,164. Women in Project Management earned the most, by gender, at $109,872. Men in that field earned $104,333 for 2000.
Geographically, our respondents hailed mainly from New York/New Jersey (27%) and the Midwest (23%). Other regions included Other Mid-Atlantic (11%), Southern California (8%), Other East Coast (7%), Northern California (7%), North Carolina (5%), New England (4%), Other West Coast (3%), Puerto Rico (2%), Southwest (2%), Canada (1%) and Other (1%).
Southern California was the best paying region in which to work, possibly due to stock options at a number of biotech operations in that region. Respondents from that region received an average package of $300,332, with a base salary of $115,535, compared to $135,830 total and $92,250 base in 2000. The second highest paying region was Other West Coast, at $279,000 total, $123,000 base ($304,000 total, $84,000 base in 2000), followed by Other Mid-Atlantic, with a total package of $184,600 and a base salary of $120,222 ($108,600 total, $83,663 base in 2000). Other regions were Canada (2001 total: $180,000, base: $125,000), Midwest (2001 total: $176,788, base: $109,145; 2000 total: $149,529, base: $87,695), Southwest (2001 total: $150,000, base: $120,000), NY/NJ (2001 total: $140,173, base: $109,414; 2000 total: $132,943, base: $98,557), Other East Coast (2001 total: $113,720, base: $92,900; 2000 total: $88,179, base: $64,708), New England (2001 total: $110,833, base: $62,667; 2000 total: $84,050, base: $71,500), Puerto Rico (2001 total: $110,500, base: $107,000), Northern California (2001 total: $88,583, base: $81,417; 2000 total: $195,425, base: $170,425), North Carolina (2001 total: $75,125, base: $59,700; 2000 total: $93,057, base: $74,129), while the respondent from Other earned $36,000.
Once More, With Feeling
As the chart above shows, Internal Politics remains the most frustrating aspect of the workplace (up to 37% from 30% in 2000). Lack of Advancement rose from 13% to 16% this year, while Inadequate Project funding nearly doubled in responses, from 8% to 15% in 2001.
Also, in what may be a portentous trend about our the hazards of our industry, the percentage of respondents who reported that there was no frustrating aspect of their jobs dropped from 7% to 3% this year. Perhaps the rest of us are just making it tougher on them . . .
Statistical analysis was performed by Leslie A. Baxter.